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Student & Alumni Achievements

Student & Alumni Achievements

UNC Students Bring Home Case Competition Win

In the latest news from a long tradition of award-winning case management teams at the University of North Carolina Gillings School of Global Public Health, three students from the Department of Health Policy and Management just excelled again.

Marie Olsen, Nicole Murrell, Andrew Keimig_third place

[Photo: Members of the winning UNC case competition team were health policy and management master’s students (l-r) Ms. Marie Olsen, Ms. Nicole Murrell and Mr. Andrew Keimig]

On Feb. 25, the UNC team presented in the final round of the 10th annual Health Administration Case Competition at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Public Health. UNC was among the top finishers, placing third overall out of 38 national teams.

This year’s UAB Case Competition team members were second-year Master of Healthcare Administration (MHA) students Mr. Andrew Keimig, Ms. Nicole Murrell and Ms. Marie Olsen.

The team members spent their winter break reading about current trends in health care. When the case was revealed to them on Feb. 2, they each worked an average of 50 hours per week to create their final presentation. “Toward the end,” Mr. Keimig said, “we were all dreaming about slide decks!”

Case competitions provide an opportunity for students to refine skills learned in the classroom at UNC. Student teams research a real-life health-care challenge, develop a solution and present their case to a group of judges who work in health care and health-care administration.

“This case prompt asked us to develop a population health management strategy for Ochsner Health System in New Orleans, which could be scaled to the entire Ochsner Health Network,” Ms. Murrell said.

The team’s solution was a multi-faceted approach that included a coordinated care model, a strategy to engage community organizations, and a proposal to involve physicians and insurers while incorporating elements of data analytics to monitor progress.

“Through our research,” Ms. Murrell added, “we determined that there is no single ‘most effective’ intervention to develop population health within a health system. Managing the health of whole populations demands the involvement of many stakeholders and changes to numerous elements of the way health care is delivered.”

At the UAB event, the University of Minnesota School of Public Health team won first prize, and University of Utah students claimed second place.

“I could not be more proud of what our team accomplished,” Mr. Keimig said. “The positive support we received from other schools at the competition affirmed that the future of health care is in good hands. I walk away from this experience with great new friends and a concrete understanding of population health.”

Dr. Shoou-Yih (Daniel) Lee, professor and chair of UNC’s healthy policy and management department, extended congratulations to the students and thanks to the many faculty members and former case competition participants who assisted in preparing the 2016 team.

Team member Ms. Olsen also had thanks to share. “The MHA course work really gave us the tools to analyze the case, create nuanced recommendations and put together a strong presentation,” she said. “Throughout the process, I so appreciated our academic preparation and the health policy and management faculty.”

Mr. Steven Sloate, clinical assistant professor of health policy and management, summed up the department’s feelings on their students’ victory.

“The market is awash in population health management risks, and these students worked extraordinarily hard on a very complex case,” said Mr. Sloate. “To place third in a challenge where many seasoned executives are flailing right now is testimony to their perseverance, adaptability and forethought.”

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